Food bank use up 74% in 5 years as London faces winter crisis

Food insecurity: UC cuts, rising heating bills and rents are placing more pressures on food banks and charities

The need for food banks is still well above what it was before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and is a shocking 74per cent higher than it was in 2016, according to the latest figures from charity the Trussell Trust.

The figures have prompted one London Assembly Member to predict a poverty crisis across London this winter, made worse by the withdrawal by the Tory government of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift.

The Trussell Trust handed out 935,749 parcels over the six months to October 2021, more than one-third of which (356,570) went to children.

On average, this equates to more than 5,100 emergency food parcels provided for people across Britain every day, including almost 2,000 for children. This is up 11 per cent from the same period in 2019, with the number of parcels given to children increasing at twice the rate of those given to adults.

In London alone, the Trussell Trust handed out 135,461 emergency food parcels between April and September this year.

Concerned: Marina Ahmad

Marina Ahmad, Labour’s London Assembly Economy Spokesperson, said, “These already extremely concerning figures point towards a very difficult winter ahead for many families and households in the capital, as they reflect the situation before the uplift to Universal Credit was cut and energy bills, rents and inflation began to rise sharply.

“What is clear is that for any of this to change we need a much stronger safety net and a route out of in-work poverty for the 1million Londoners living in it.

“The Trussell Trust do fantastic work, but we must also remember the increasing number of independent food banks that have sprung up across the capital to meet huge demand.

“This all paints a worrying picture of the government palming off their duty of care to the most vulnerable in our society to charities.”

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